WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) this week voiced support for a recent U.S. Embassy announcement that U.S. assistance to Armenia will reach $60 million in 2019 and requested a detailed description of these funds, with emphasis on the disparity in U.S. military assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“We welcome Ambassador’s Tracy’s announcement that aid to Armenia will top $60 million for FY19, which she described as a 40 percent increase over the previous year,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We look forward to the U.S. Embassy publicly providing a detailed breakdown by fiscal year, sponsoring agency, area of activity and specific program – with a particular focus on how U.S. Defense Department aid to Armenia matches up against its spending in Azerbaijan.”
On Monday, the U.S. Embassy in Armenia released a statement noting the 40 percent increase in aid to Armenia, in “projects managed by not only the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, but also the Department of Energy, the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Defense.”
“The United States has sought to support the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia for the last 27 years, and we certainly do not intend to change that now, at a time when democracy in Armenia is stronger than ever,” U.S. Ambassador Lynne M. Tracy said in a statement posted on the U.S. Embassy to Armenia website. “That is why we are proud to announce more than $60 million in assistance funding to Armenia this year.”
According to the U.S. Embassy, the additional funds will cover a broad range of programmatic areas, including “anti-corruption, security, energy, education, English language, forest service, human rights, civil society and the strengthening of transparent and accountable government institutions, including the law enforcement, justice and judicial sectors.”
Alongside increased U.S. assistance to Armenia, the ANCA has been working closely with the Congressional Armenian Caucus to clarify reports of a dramatic increase in U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan, breaking parity in military aid to Armenia. According to a September 27th letter by Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), Azerbaijan received Department of Defense security assistance of $42.9 million in FY2019, compared to $2.8 million provided to Armenia. The letter outlined Congressional concern that military assistance to Azerbaijan “will be used to further perpetuate aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.”